Election candidates

11:40 am General

I agree completely with Luis: there is a lot of truth to what Murray says (like Luis, I have had my share of conflict with Jeff, perhaps more than my share), but the tone of the blog post was far beyond what was required to make the point. The aggression of the post surprised me, even though I have known for some time about the problems that Murray has had with Jeff.

And that, as Forrest Gump says, is all I have to say about that.

However, as many have pointed out, it’s election season here at GNOME, and it is indeed a time to compare your candidates on objective grounds. I have not gathered statistics, but here are some ideas.

For candidates who have never been on the board, we have their personal records – groups they have been involved in, mailing lists they post on, modules they’ve maintained, etc. How do they deal with people? Will they be able to bring useful skills to the board? How about delegation? For module maintainers, do they do everything, or encourage new collaborators?

For outgoing board members, we have valuable information in the board minutes – attendance at board meetings is the easiest to measure, but also in the past 3 years we have lists of action items which people have taken on – how many have gone on to completion? How quickly? If there are incomplete or unfinished actions, how did the assigned person deal with the blockages they encountered?

This is a time when candidates should defend their track record, justify their claim to a spot on the board, and be held accountable for their past records. An election campaign in other words. What you say at the moment of an election is only part of your platform. The majority of your platform is who you are, what you can do, and how you’ve done at it in the past.

3 Responses

  1. EdgeWise Says:

    Hmmm… how can we tell if an action item has been completed? Otherwise, seems like we could parse the minutes, and rig up a system that would calculate the percent complete for every past board member.

  2. Dave Neary Says:

    Here’s one example, chosen from my actions while I was on the board:

    Minutes 1 Feb 2007:

    ACTION: Dave to prepare preliminary budget for February 10th.

    Minutes 15 Feb 2007: Review of last meeting’s actions:

    ACTION: Dave to prepare preliminary budget for February 10th (DONE).

    There were 3 more budget-related actions in that meeting minutes, and in the following minutes we have:

    * Dave to discuss with gnome-docs-list and advisory board about possible
    coordination of documentation and library.gnome.org (NOT DONE – handed
    off to Vincent/Behdad)
    * Dave to send new draft of the budget to the board with improvements, and
    later publish (DONE – Dave sent drafts v2 and v3, waiting feedback from
    the board)
    * Dave to send draft of budget announcement to board-list (NOT DONE)

    The budget finally got sent to foundation-list on May 28th.

    A reasonable question to me would be “what happened between the draft budget on March 1st and 12 weeks later on May 28th?”

  3. Dave Neary Says:

    Unfortunately, at some stage this year we stopped adding the status of outstanding action items to the minutes, which makes tracking this kind of thing harder. Ask your secretary why that is.